COLUMBIA — Hickman's two-headed monster wasn't all that scary.
But its three-headed one, that's another story.
Rock Bridge (12-4) vs. Hickman (13-6)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: Hickman High School
“Now we’ve got a three-headed monster attack,” Hickman coach John Burns said. “We have better defense and three scorers to defend.”
Burns is referring to a three-guard lineup that the Kewpies began to use soon after Christmas break, in which senior Lyle Harris, sophomore Jordan Stevens and junior Marcus Whitt have averaged a combined 45.5 points per game. Since the switch the Kewpies are 8-2.
Prior to Christmas break, the Kewpies used a two-guard lineup and opened the season with a 5-4 record.
“Over the break we were all practicing together and things started to click, and you can start to see it in our winter record,” Harris said.
In the two-guard lineup, Harris and Whitt shined, averaging a combined 32 points per game. But the load was heavy.
“Before Lyle and Marcus couldn’t afford to have an off night,” Burns said. “Jordan takes some pressure away from them.”
Stevens, who was a junior varsity player at the beginning of the season, brings new energy, strong defense and great shooting to the lineup, Burns said. Just last weekend, Stevens scored 29 points on six 3-pointers in Hickman’s 67-55 victory against Lafayette.
“We lost some games early because we were learning how to play,” Burns said. “We didn’t know how to play together, we didn’t know how to play hard.”
Since playing with three-guards, Hickman (13-6) has been outstanding, winning seven out of its last eight games. Possibly its biggest test of the season will come Thursday against Rock Bridge (12-4), which has won the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
None of the three guards showcased in Hickman’s offense have beat Rock Bridge, but Whitt sees this as their time.
“We have a good streak going, a lot more weapons and much better defense,” Whitt said. “This time we’ve got a good chance to win.”
In their last meeting, the Bruins coasted to a 60-37 win. Now the Kewpies play at home where they are undefeated this season.
Even with the home crowd, Burns still believes the team's three-guard attack is its best weapon.
“The pressure is on the other team to guard us,” Burns said. “You can’t play man-to-man or we will beat you. You can’t play zone or we will shoot you.”
So the true test lies with Rock Bridge. It is the one playing against a three-headed monster.